Department of Theology and Religious Studies

God and the Book of Nature: Sexual Selection, the Extended Evolutionary Synthesis, and Theologies of Purpose in Nature

What can theories of sexual selection, in concert with developments in the Extended Evolutionary Synthesis, contribute to theological accounts of desire, purpose, agency, and beauty in nature?

This research examines contemporary theories of “sexual selection” in evolutionary biology, as well as relevant developments in the Extended Evolutionary Synthesis (EES), and their potential points of intersection with theologies of nature. Sexual selection and the EES both expand the Modern Synthesis by bringing renewed attention to the agency of organisms in shaping the trajectory of evolutionary processes. Sexual selection, a theory about the competition for desirable mates, highlights the centrality of beauty and desire to the movements of evolution, and so it is rich with possibilities for theological engagement, particularly theological accounts of human desire and aesthetics.

A peacock in full display
 

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Publications

  • Loumagne Ulishney, M. (2020). “Visiting Iniquity Upon the Generations: Epigenetics, Systems Biology, and Theologies of Inherited Sin”. Philosophy, Theology and the Sciences, 7(2), 205-226. https://doi.org/10.1628/ptsc-2020-0017

  • Burdett, M. (2020). “Niche Construction and the Functional Model of the Image of God”. Philosophy, Theology and the Sciences, 7(2), 158-180. https://doi.org/10.1628/ptsc-2020-0015

 

Department of Theology and Religious Studies

University of Nottingham
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

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